The Office of Finance and Facilities reviews all state university system facilities funding requests. The primary state source for the funding of university academic facilities continues to be Florida’s Public Education Capital Outlay or PECO program, which is constitutionally established to address education needs on a K-20 basis. Student life buildings, including unions, residence halls, parking, and athletic facilities, to name a few examples, have been financed via user fees, including the Capital Improvement Fee. Donated funds have also been a significant source of funding, but the state’s matching program, the Alec P. Courtelis Facilities Challenge Grant Program, is currently suspended.
Facilities constructed using PECO begin with approval by the university Board of Trustees of a prioritized funding request known as the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. Using an extensive process of evaluation, the Office of Finance and Facilities assists the Board’s Facilities Committee in evaluating each project. Projects selected for consideration are presented by the universities at the annual Facilities Workshop. Following the Workshop, the Board of Governors adopts the PECO Fixed Capital Outlay Legislative Funding Request for the upcoming Legislative Session.
Additionally, the Office coordinates all Educational Plant Surveys, administers the Capital Improvement Fee Trust Fund, and maintains an historical record of all university funding requests for Fixed Capital Outlay. The Educational Plant Survey process is required by Florida Statutes of all public educational entities. For the State University System it is a requirement that at a minimum of every five (5) years, that each university reports on the use of its existing facilities and project out five (5) years its future facility needs. This projection must be based on an examination of data on its existing facilities and a projection of future needs based on anticipated university growth.